Celeb chef Gordon Ramsay allegedly threatened at gunpoint in Costa Rica

January 3, 2011

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay was doused in gasoline and held at gunpoint in Costa Rica as he filmed a new TV about illegal shark finning, according to a British paper.

The Hell’s Kitchen host said he was shooting scenes about shark finning in Costa Rica for British program Big Fish Fight when gang members confronted him. Despite its green image, Costa Rica has earned a rather notorious reputation for illegal shark finning.

Ramsey told Britain’s Daily Mail that the gang held him and his TV crew at gun point before gang members threw fuel over him. Local police advised Ramsey to flee the country for his safety, Ramsey said.

“It’s a multibillion-dollar industry, completely unregulated,” Ramsey told the Daily Mail. “We traced some of the biggest culprits to Costa Rica. These gangs operate from places like forts, with barbed-wire and gun towers.”

“At one, I managed to shake off the people keeping us away, ran up some stairs to a rooftop and looked down to see thousands of fins, drying on rooftops for as far as the eye could see. When I got back downstairs, they tipped a barrel of petrol over me,” the TV celebrity chef said. “Back at the wharf, there were people pointing rifles at us to stop us filming. A van pulled up and these seedy characters made us stand against a wall. The police came and advised us to leave the country. They said, ’If you set one foot in there, they’ll shoot you.”

You may be interested

Costa Rica’s snakebite research pioneers save lives worldwide
Changemakers
146 views
Changemakers
146 views

Costa Rica’s snakebite research pioneers save lives worldwide

Mitzi Stark - May 23, 2018

The Clodomiro Picado Institute is spread along the main road of Dulce Nombre de Coronado, northeast of San José. Its…

Adaptive surfing, part II: The story of Dean Bushby
sports
232 views
sports
232 views

Adaptive surfing, part II: The story of Dean Bushby

Ellen Zoe Golden - May 22, 2018

A three-part look at adaptive surfing in Costa Rica. Read Part I here to learn how a Central Pacific coach is…

Costa Rica launches Pride Connection network
Human rights
289 views
Human rights
289 views

Costa Rica launches Pride Connection network

Elizabeth Lang - May 22, 2018

As Costa Rica continues to grapple with the disagreements about marriage equality and gender identity that dominated the second round…